Ridden by Travis Dunkelberger, Joey P. was hustled to the lead in the 4 1/2-furlong dash soon after the start, opened up a slight advantage on the turn and drew away under steady handling to post a three-length win as the 2-1 second choice in a field of nine. The final time, :50.75 on a fast track, was .55 off the track record set by Outcashem on July 4, 2006.
Grade III winner Joey P. carried top weight of 121 pounds to his 15th lifetime victory in 30 starts while increasing his earnings to $871,918 for owner and breeder John Petrini. The 6-year-old New Jersey-bred Close Up gelding won for the first time in nine tries outside of the Garden State.
Lacewell, ridden by Sylvester Carmouche III, finished second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of Love's Strong Hart and Gerald Almodovar. Sir Silver Fox, the 4-5 favorite ridden by Ramon Dominguez, finished a rallying fourth after being forced to steady off heels early in the race.
Joey P., out of the Luckey Jin Beau mare Luckey Lipco, paid $6.40 for the win.
The Dash, which carried a winner's share of $120,000, headlined Charles Town Races and Slots' inaugural Sprint Festival.
Earlier, So So ($15), ridden by Paul Nicol Jr. for trainer John McKee, led all the way for a 2 3/4-length win in the $100,000 West Virginia Sprint Derby for 3-year-olds. So So ran the 4 1/2 furlongs in :51.69.
The $100,000 Red Legend Stakes for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs was taken by Devereux, with Larry Sterling Jr. aboard. Favored Devereux ($3.80) took the lead on the turn and drew away in the lane for a seven-length win in a time of 1:25.23. Steve Asmussen conditions the the Padua Stables homebred.
In a three-horse blanket finish, Grand Obsession ($11.80), ridden by Jesus Castanon, scored a neck decision in the $100,000 Lady Charles Town Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Hadavision and Story of a Lion finished in a dead-heat for second. Eddie Kenneally trains the Eagle Valley homebred, who completed the 4 1/2-furlong distance in :52.07 after rallying from mid-pack in the stretch.
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